|Brighton & Hove Clarion Cycling Club|
Dear fellow members and friends
5 November 2007
Well done Fred!
Please everyone do as he suggests.
Chris Aukett, a Product Design student at Sussex, contacted me recently. He writes:
I've told him that he's very welcome; he couldn't make yesterday but look out for him on one (or more) of the next few rides.
Boots and Spurs
The Next Ride
As a result no doubt to global warming, autumn with its attractive 'tints' is taking a long time to arrive these days. I think one of the best places to enjoy treescapes is the Cuckoo Trail. We've used bits of it quite often but only done the whole Polegate to Heathfield and back ride on three occasions. Joyce, Sheila and I rode it in appalling weather on the very first 'Clarion ride' in April 2004. I was away on the other two occasions – Easter Sunday 2005 and in October last year – but on both occasions a lunch stop was made – satisfactorily – at the Runt in Tun near the top of the Trail. Another possibility – which I got from a website recommendation – is the Prince of Tales just up the road from the end the Trail in Heathfield itself. We'll see what we feel like on the day. The ex-railway line nature of the trail means that while you hardly notice the gradient riding up to Heathfield – apart from a few 'bumps' at road crossings – it is noticeably downhill all the way coming back. If time – taking into account the onset of darkness – permits we can also make the usual tea-stop at the Old Loom.
Catch the 10.20 train from Brighton to Polegate, or meet at Polegate station at 10.49 am. Return trains – depending on when we leave the pub/ and whether we stop for tea – include the 15.02 (arrives Brighton 15.34) might be a bit of a push, but the 15.42 (16.02) should be easily achievable and get everyone home before lighting up time. My mobile no.: 07747-307892.
The Last Ride – Roger's Report
4 November 2007
Thirteen Clarion cyclists boarded the train in Brighton; at Hassocks we were met by three more, making this possibly the best-attended ride ever. No doubt the beautiful weather was partly to blame.
A record turn out
The excitement started early on when Jim led us out of Hassocks station and turned left … but Shoreham is the other way! He had found a way of avoiding the main road. We crossed the route of the veteran car run and saw two of the 531 'old crocks' that were driving to Brighton that day. It was at this point that Leon fell over; clearly falling over is now a requirement for new members on their first ride.
He quickly recovered. On through Hurstpierpoint - for those who wanted to know what the name means, it derives from 'Hurst', a Saxon word for wood, and the de Pierpoint family who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066.
Watching sheep (Anne's photo)
First world war memorial
We stopped briefly at Newtimber Church. A plaque in the churchyard attracted much interest. It commemorates several hundred African soldiers who were lost at sea while travelling to England in 1917 to help the war effort.
Hang glider off Devil's Dyke (Jim's photo)
On through Poynings and Fulking, with more excitement as we plunged wildly down an off-road descent through fallen leaves and foliage. Incidentally, Jim has now set a new standard in ride leadership; not only did he cycle the route twice beforehand, but on the second occasion he carried a pair of seccateurs to clear away the worst of the foliage from the off-road sections.
Learning about salt
The hungry pig (Anne's photo)
In a big group it is hard for the report writer to keep track of everything that happens. However, as we paused to read a wayside sign about the ancient salt making industry, news filtered through that during the off-road section some members of the group had paused to share a banana with a large pig! Regardless of whether this is true, it certainly deserves a place in the Clarion collective memory.
Negotiating a difficult stile
Lunch outside The Bridge
The staff at Upper Beeding's Bridge Inn coped splendidly with a horde of hungry cyclists – there were now seventeen in the group as Mick joined us for lunch. Fully refreshed and re-fuelled we continued on through Bramber and Botolphs. Shoreham Airport provided hot drinks and cakes and then - is this another Clarion first? - a change of ride leader as Sue took us on a shortcut across fields to view the amazing collection of houseboats at Shoreham Beach.
Yet another church stop - St Botolph's
For the final stage of the journey, some chose the train from Shoreham and others cycled via the harbour locks, where we had to wait for a fleet of small boats to pass through before we could cross. By the time we reached Hove it was almost dark.
Tea at Shoreham airport
Those on the ride were: Alice, Amanda, Angelica, Ann, Annie, Fred, Jim, John, Joyce, Leon, Nick, Richard, Roger, Sue, Suzanne and Tessa
Many thanks to Jim for planning a very enjoyable day out and to Sue for suggesting the last-minute addition.